Summers on Cape Cod are accented by the spectacular blue, white, and rose-colored blooms of the region’s hydrangeas. These big, bright, flowers bloom June through September, and the Cape has its very own festival to celebrate! The 2023 Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival will take place from July 7th to July 16th. The event features daily tours of private gardens, workshops and lectures, painting and pruning classes, and advice from experts on growing the region’s signature bloom.
This is a rare chance to visit the spectacular gardens of some of the Cape’s most talented growers, making it one of the most beloved annual events on Cod Cod and the Islands. The gardens are abloom with hydrangea of every color but also a whole range of colorful perennials and annuals abound. Many of the gardeners themselves are there to answer questions or give presentations on their own gardens.
Gardens of the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival
The ten days of garden tours of the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival take place at private residences across the Cape from the tip of the Outer Cape in Provincetown to the Upper Cape in Woods Hole. Tours cost each guest $5 per garden, only cash is accepted at the garden sites. The money collected at each garden goes to going to support various non-profit organization ranging from local libraries to garden clubs and other groups.
The gardens are open 10 am to 4pm on the day’s tours are offered at each site. When planning your route you can visit the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce website for a schedule of events, descriptions of the gardens, and information about which garden tours benefit which organizations.
Joining a garden tour (or several!) is a great way to see beautiful gardens and be inspired while also supporting many of the great nonprofits on the Cape. Each garden support its own non-profit ranging from many of our Cape libraries to local garden clubs.
Nonprofits staff the private gardens open during the festival, and sometimes also sell plants on other small items at the gardens. Others like businesses, museums, and gardens host events like lectures, plant sales, and demonstrations all about hydrangeas throughout the festival as well.
The gardens range in style, species, and size! Some feature hundreds of hydrangeas, while others boast different blooms. Some of the properties boast stunning waterfront views, others are growing vegetables as well as flowers, and some have fascinating architecture and design. The tours are a fun way to get ideas for your own property or to just appreciate a beautiful summer garden on Cape Cod!
The commemorative poster of the 2023 Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, “Garden in Bloom” was designed by local artist Kelly Fuller and is available for sale as many garden tour locations or can be ordered on the Cape Cod Chamber website.
Other Gardens for Spectacular Hydrangeas
If you miss the festival, you can still experience the beautiful hydrangea blooms at the Heritage Museum & Gardens. Their Hydrangea Display Garden and North American Hydrangea Test Garden are sure to delight! They also offer the Hydrangea University during the festival, a virtual crash course on everything you need to know about growing and caring for your own hydrangeas. You’ll learn how and when to prune your hydrangeas, how to influence the color of your hydrangea blooms by managing your soil’s pH, and much more!
The ninth annual Cape-wide Hydrangea Festival may expand to the islands in the coming years. Enjoy as many garden tours as you can fit in- they support great causes including the Brewster Garden Club, Cape Cod Hospital Auxiliary Orleans, Cape Cod Hydrangea Society, Chatham Garden Club, Falmouth Chorale, Falmouth Garden Club, Hyannis Public Library, Master Gardeners Assoc. of Cape Cod, People for Cats, Sandwich Art Alliance, Sandwich Food Pantry, Sturgis Library, Thornton Burgess Society, Unitarian Church of Barnstable, Whelden Memorial Library, Yarmouth Port Library and many more.